Methyl and ethyl esters of vegetable oils have become an important source of renewable energy with convenient applications in compression-ignition (CI) engines. While the use of biofuels results in a reduction of CO, particulate matter, and unburned hydrocarbons in the emissions, the main disadvantage is the increase of nitrogen oxides (NOx) emissions. The increase in NOx emissions is attributed to differences in chemical composition and physical properties of the biofuel, which in turn affect engine operational parameters such as injection delay and ignition characteristics. The effects of fuel injection timing, which can compensate for these changes, on the performance and emissions in a single cylinder air-cooled diesel engine at partial loads using canola methyl ester and its blends with diesel are presented in this study. The engine is a single cylinder, four stroke, naturally aspirated, CI engine with a displacement volume of 280 cm3 rated at 5 HP at 3600 rpm under a dynamometer load. It was equipped with a pressure sensor in the combustion chamber, a needle lift sensor in the fuel injector, and a crank angle sensor attached to the crankshaft. Additionally, the temperature of the exhaust gases was monitored using a thermocouple inside the exhaust pipe. Pollutant emissions were measured using an automotive exhaust gas analyzer. Advanced, manufacturer-specified standard, and delayed injection settings were applied by placing shims of different thicknesses under the injection pump, thus, altering the time at which the high-pressure fuel reached the combustion chamber. The start of injection was found to be insensitive to the use of biofuels in the engine. The late injection timing of the engine provided advantages in the CO and NO emissions with a small penalty in fuel consumption and thermal efficiency.

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